Democracy and communication are inextricably linked, so much so that the existence or otherwise of certain forms of communications can be a measure of the limits to which democracy itself has developed or is held back. This article takes a brief world tour to examine the development of radio as a popular communications tool. It then compares different forms of media construction against a typology of democracy and it sets out the challenges which popular communications media face to survive in the context of globalization and digitalization. Radio worldwide remains the most pervasive of the electronic communications media, but a reflexive and communicative democracy needs to underpin this with supportive policy measures grounded in human rights and linked to further development of the freedom of information and expression.
International Journal of Cultural Studies, August 2000 vol. 3 no. 2 180-187.